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What direction does the club need to take?


  • Total voters
    86

Yorkshire Blue

Super Moderator⭐
Staff member
Joined
Oct 27, 2003
Messages
36,158
Location
London
I think the club is currently at a cross roads.

We can either spend money and try and buy our way out of possible trouble with expensive short term solutions, or we can struggle on with what we've got, topped up by loan signings and the occasional more expensive signing when the right player eventually comes along.

I expect the immediate response is spend, spend, spend. But I think more thought needs to be given before embarking off in that direction. This is a question of long term versus short term.

We've seen what happens when you try and make short term desperation signings, they are called Richie Foran and they cost you £150,000 and are burdens on your wage bill which then don't give you the room to manoeuvre in the future.

This is the game we played in the 90s in what is now ridiculously called the championship, and it nearly cost the club its existence. Dave Regis, Andy Rammell, Jereon Boere - how many of them hung around and were a factor at the club for any length of time? Their legacy was one of debt and desperation, short-term thinking instead of long-term planning. They cost the club approximately £750,000 in transfer fees, virtually none of it was recouped, and God knows how much more in wages. Their goals helped extend our championship stay for a couple more years, but at what cost? The years that followed were the most depressing imaginable, bouncing around in the bottom half of the 4th division, devoid of hope. That is the price of trying to avoid the inevitable.

I expect I'll get a torrent of abuse for suggesting this, but if we spend because we need to do something to get out of the position we're in, we're condemning the club to a spiral of debt. We've got to break out of that spiral. We need to sign players, but until the likes of Foran and Furlong can be off-loaded (maybe even Freedman?), we should be concentrating on getting loan signings into cover the long-term injured. The one exception should be if we can get a playmaker with the flair to replace Mark Gower. At a push I could maybe go for another centre-half to replace Clarke who, after all, is out of contract in the summer and set to walk and lose the club's £300,000(?) investment.

Our club can't afford to be managed on a short-term fire-fighting basis. To be successful we need long term planning and long term security. Let's give Steve Tilson another contract extension (with the added bonus that it's cheaper to negotiate now, then when we are top of the table) and the instruction to concentrate on the long term future of this club so he has the job security to be brave and persevere with the likes of Moussa and Herd, so that he spends time trying to uncover players who might only be able to contribute in a season's time (like he did with Bentley and Guttridge, and like hopefully Scannell and who knows maybe even Clark Masters might) rather than merely plugging gaps.

I don't want to see the club be relegated, but I don't want to see the club burdened with overpaid, underperforming players and unsustainable contracts either. The latter just isn't a price worth paying. What we need now, more than ever, is long-term thinking.
 

stevie_G_G_G

The OG King
Joined
Jan 22, 2007
Messages
2,348
Good post YB. I would like to see us get a few players in till the end of the season that will improve the team, not just the squad. Hopefully we will still be in League one by the end of it, and then during the long summer, have a big clear out from all the dross we have this now! We need players that want to play for this club and are hungry to prove themselves as professional footballers
 

Shoebury Blue

Schoolboy
Joined
Jan 27, 2009
Messages
63
I think the long term approach is fair, but we should be looking at a plan similar to this, IMO.

Sign a few loan players this window to ensure survival in league one (which is by no means guaranteed currently!) as a mid table finish is the best we can hope for this year.

Invest in 1 or 2 proven players in the summer and also try and sign youngsters which can clearly make the grade at league 1 level (i count Sawyer in this bracket though i think he is good enough to go straight into most Championship sides).

As for offering Tilly a contract extension, id question how wise that would be currently. Agreed the injuries havent helped, but after losing most of the loan players in November/December, even before the injuries our form wasnt good. Surely there should have been a plan in place for replacing those loan players as soon as the window opened in January?? I agree that there is no point in just signing players for the sake of it, but aiming for players such as Bradley Johnson who are never going to be interested in signing for Southend just smacks of an attempt to fool the fans into thinking we are better than we are. The reported £250k we were going to pay for him could pay for 2/3 decent players that could help stabilise the squad come the summer.

Im not for one minute suggesting Tilly has not done wonders for the Club, and he should always be recognised for what he has done, but the excuses are starting to wear slightly thin.
 

BoyWonder2

Life President⭐
Joined
Oct 25, 2003
Messages
8,170
Location
Cold Norton, Essex
Spot on YB as usual.

One thing I will mention is I'd rather see the loan signings come in till the end of the season so they have a chance to develop understandings with the players we have here already. It could take 2/3 games to develop a understanding with Barnard say, then we lose the player as we only have a couple of games that month.

Money should be spent if players become avaliable that we want, say Bradley Johnson who has been mentioned on here. But we shouldn't look at the situation now and spend £150K - £200K on our 3rd/4th choice in a certain position.

On the situation with the wages, some of it may be due to certain clauses in their contracts about winning promotion and not having decreases in wages for relegations, plus some of these players where signed in our Championship season.

Getting Foran off the wage budget is essential, his one of the highest paid players here and is no use to us. Possibly even Furlong if Barnet where interested in signing him full time.
 

Gt Yarmouth Shrimper

President⭐
Joined
Aug 19, 2008
Messages
3,931
Good read YB. To me your comments make a lot of sense and, hopefully those who have been calling for the management to be culled and replaced will, after they have let off steam and thought sensibily about our current situation, concur.
There has been much wailing and gnashing of teeth around here in the last few days and don't forget that the transfer window is a sellers market so any players we try to get who is under contract, and any good, will cost a packet
 

Yorkshire Blue

Super Moderator⭐
Staff member
Joined
Oct 27, 2003
Messages
36,158
Location
London
I think the long term approach is fair, but we should be looking at a plan similar to this, IMO.

Sign a few loan players this window to ensure survival in league one (which is by no means guaranteed currently!) as a mid table finish is the best we can hope for this year.

Invest in 1 or 2 proven players in the summer and also try and sign youngsters which can clearly make the grade at league 1 level (i count Sawyer in this bracket though i think he is good enough to go straight into most Championship sides).

Sounds good to me.


I'd suggest that instead of trying to do it over the summer, we should be looking to do it over the next couple of months. Identify those players for next season now and get cracking on it. Look to sign them on loan pending a permanent transfer once the window re-opens. I think February-March is the time to get these deals wrapped up. Over January everyone is trying to do business, come February/March teams promotion campaigns fizzle out, contracts are nearly over and I think it is then that you want to pounce.


As for offering Tilly a contract extension, id question how wise that would be currently. Agreed the injuries havent helped, but after losing most of the loan players in November/December, even before the injuries our form wasnt good. Surely there should have been a plan in place for replacing those loan players as soon as the window opened in January?? I agree that there is no point in just signing players for the sake of it, but aiming for players such as Bradley Johnson who are never going to be interested in signing for Southend just smacks of an attempt to fool the fans into thinking we are better than we are. The reported £250k we were going to pay for him could pay for 2/3 decent players that could help stabilise the squad come the summer.

I think the reason you offer Tilson a contract now is so that he is concentrating on the long term future of the club, not just the next game.

Of course he has made mistakes, but any manager will make mistakes. I think he made mistakes when the loans of the likes of Christophe and Sawyer expired. I actually think his biggest mistake was in not giving Moussa and Grant the chance to take Christophe's place. Since Christophe joined permanently both have looked capable of taking his role in the team, but they weren't given the opportunities to do so. Let him learn from his mistakes, but most of all let him concentrate on the long-term. This is where we can get an edge over pretty much every other club, whose manager hasn't been in charge nearly as long and is far more concerned with the short term results rather than the long term ones. if Tilly is confident he will still be in charge in ten years time, that gives him the freedom to do things other managers are too afraid to do.

As for Bradley Johnson, if you don't ask you don't get. Imagine the furore if he'd gone to one of our rivals. AFAIK, it wasn't him who turned us down, it was Leeds.
 

palexander

Life President
Joined
Oct 27, 2003
Messages
7,693
Location
C*lchester
Very good post YB and I agree to a point. I appreciate Martin is keeping our head above water and the thought of bringing the youngsters through is exciting.

I'd say the only flaw in your plan is the stadium.

If the stadium wasn't on the horizon, then I think we could give Tilly and the youngsters time and really build something for the long term future.

As it stands, if the stadium is built, there is a real chance we could be kicking around the bottom of Lg2 by the time it is built. This makes it less attractive to sponsors, commerce as well as players and fans.

I think we need to do all we can to avoid relegation - whatever that is (i.e buy players, change manager etc).
 

Shoebury Blue

Schoolboy
Joined
Jan 27, 2009
Messages
63
I think the reason you offer Tilson a contract now is so that he is concentrating on the long term future of the club, not just the next game.

Of course he has made mistakes, but any manager will make mistakes. I think he made mistakes when the loans of the likes of Christophe and Sawyer expired. I actually think his biggest mistake was in not giving Moussa and Grant the chance to take Christophe's place. Since Christophe joined permanently both have looked capable of taking his role in the team, but they weren't given the opportunities to do so. Let him learn from his mistakes, but most of all let him concentrate on the long-term. This is where we can get an edge over pretty much every other club, whose manager hasn't been in charge nearly as long and is far more concerned with the short term results rather than the long term ones. if Tilly is confident he will still be in charge in ten years time, that gives him the freedom to do things other managers are too afraid to do.

As for Bradley Johnson, if you don't ask you don't get. Imagine the furore if he'd gone to one of our rivals. AFAIK, it wasn't him who turned us down, it was Leeds.

Yeah its a fair point and im not for one minute saying he shouldnt be given an extension, just id like to wait to see how he deals with trying to turn the situation around. As for the Christophe point, i completely agree, though i think playing alongside Sawyer may have helped as he wasnt asked to do as much as he has been recently. I was a big critic of Grant earlier in the season, i wondered why we had ever signed him - though im happy to admit his performances over the last month or so have proven that Tilly made a good choice as he has ability and also the potential to develop.
 

fredheim_holm

Where art thou Tes
Joined
Mar 3, 2006
Messages
8,145
Location
London
Fantastic post YB.

I totally agree, going down wouldn't be the end of the world, but would need a massive reshuffle. We must do our utmost to stay up, but paying over the odds would make the situation so much worse.

Tilly could have a 5 year contract personally, but I realise there's other factors involved.
 

OldBlueLady

Junior Blues Coordinator⭐
Joined
Dec 27, 2007
Messages
48,093
Location
Benfleet
Another great post YB. Prudent money management is the key, whether that's to do with the new stadium or new players. There's no point in splashing out a fortune on someone who's going to scarper at the first opportunity.
 

Rayleigh boy

Director⭐
Joined
Nov 1, 2006
Messages
4,252
to be fair to Ron martin the credit crunch has completely and utterly screwed the long term plan -

meaning any financial strategy is in the bin -

meaning a major impact on the budget for players etc.

just a fact of life ... at least RH has a stay of execution
 

astrashrimp

Guest
Hi all, first post, maybe just a discussion point i dont know, yep i agree with most of the points in this thread BUT.... has anyone ever thought that RM may have been affected by the bank problem in iceland, hence one moment we seem to be building up a war-chest and the next minute opps no signings & deep trouble as everyone gets injured and no replacements apart from loans.
Just seems a bit suspect to me that things started going pete tong at the same time as the troubles in icelandic banks, just a thought as i said and could be co-incidence but if Kent county council can get caught out whats to say the same didnt happen to our beloved blues.
 

A Century United

Firewalking for HD
Joined
Jan 26, 2007
Messages
10,004
Hi all, first post, maybe just a discussion point i dont know, yep i agree with most of the points in this thread BUT.... has anyone ever thought that RM may have been affected by the bank problem in iceland, hence one moment we seem to be building up a war-chest and the next minute opps no signings & deep trouble as everyone gets injured and no replacements apart from loans.
Just seems a bit suspect to me that things started going pete tong at the same time as the troubles in icelandic banks, just a thought as i said and could be co-incidence but if Kent county council can get caught out whats to say the same didnt happen to our beloved blues.

Good point and interesting first post.... Maybe THAT's why Foran is being Frozen out?

:whistling:
 
Joined
Jul 12, 2005
Messages
22,733
Location
Canvey Island
Hi all, first post, maybe just a discussion point i dont know, yep i agree with most of the points in this thread BUT.... has anyone ever thought that RM may have been affected by the bank problem in iceland, hence one moment we seem to be building up a war-chest and the next minute opps no signings & deep trouble as everyone gets injured and no replacements apart from loans.
Just seems a bit suspect to me that things started going pete tong at the same time as the troubles in icelandic banks, just a thought as i said and could be co-incidence but if Kent county council can get caught out whats to say the same didnt happen to our beloved blues.

Welcome to the board mate, and a good first post.

I am pretty sure that the details of SUFC Ltd bankers are published in the annual company accounts and I am pretty sure that they aren't one of the Icelandic lot that have gone tits up. I am sure one of our accountancy gurus can confirm this.
 

astrashrimp

Guest
ill have to check that out could be worth a look and thanks canvey
 

OldBlueLady

Junior Blues Coordinator⭐
Joined
Dec 27, 2007
Messages
48,093
Location
Benfleet
As I've said before, accounts always used to be at Lloyds Bank, can't remember if they still are, or if others are now involved.
 

Eastblack

Coach
Joined
Jan 15, 2009
Messages
705
Personally, if I were Ron, I think I would go all in. If we don't build a squad capable of surviving L1 and do drop into L2, we will struggle even more to attract more quality players, as we'll be seen as another yo-yoing club.

Ordinarily, I would say not, but this is a situation where we have to buy and spend our way out of trouble.

If the club is to be in a position to challenge for promotion to the Championship (next year not this), we need a decent settled side, not loans, but established signings that are here for the long term, and believe in the management's vision and goals.
 

Nobby Snide

Guest
which gives us a question, forgive me if its been quoted elsewhere, what is a sustainable weekly wage for our club (squad)?
what crowd do we need to achieve to obtain the figure?
what is the average wage of a good L1 player?

are we asking too much of a club who cannot realistically achieve more than it has so far?
have wages outstripped our club?
Without an increase of crowds or entry fees, how can we get better players permanantly?
 
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